Communities of Practice for Related Services

The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) and the Regional Educational Service Centers (RESC) are in the process of planning a series of Communities of Practice (CoP) designed to engage practitioners in meaningful discussions and activities that will broaden our capacity to improve outcomes for students with disabilities. The currently formed CoP’s are in the areas of Assistive Technology, Physical Therapy, Social Work, Occupational Therapy, School Psychology, and Speech & Language Pathology. Please see the flyer below for more information.

Related Services Communities of Practice


Writing Standards-based IEPs Using the CT Early Learning and Development Standards

IDEA states that, “the education of children with disabilities can be made more effective by … having high expectations for such children and ensuring their access to the general curriculum to the maximum extent possible, in order to meet the developmental goals.” (20 U.S.C. 1400(c)

For our youngest learners, there are often questions about what constitutes the general curriculum. Since the CT ELDS outline what children birth to age five should know and be able to do, this is an easy to access tool for writing standards-based IEPS focused on access to the general education curriculum.

The National Association of State Directors of Special Education document, A Seven-Step Process to Creating Standards-based IEPs outlines a process of writing IEPs based on state standards.  While this document refers to “content standards,” the CT ELDS address the whole child and include the following areas of development:

Look for training on writing IEPS based on the CT ELDS coming in Fall 2019.

The following are helpful resources:

Connecticut Office of Early Childhood. (2013). The Connecticut Early Learning and Development Standards.

The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTAC), (2014). Enhancing Recognition of High Quality, Functional IEP Goals,

The National Association of State Directors of Special Education, (2007). A Seven-Step Process to Creating Standards-based IEPs.

Understood for Learning and Attention Issues (2014-2018). 5 Benefits of Inclusion Classrooms.

Alabama State Department of Education, (2012). Standards Based IEPs for Preschool Children.

Vermont preschool IEP on ECTAC website:

SAVE THE DATE/REGISTRATION IS OPEN for the 2019 Annual Autism Transition Forum – New England

Date:                     Saturday, February 2, 2019

Time:                    8:30 AM – 1:30 PM

Location:              Masonicare at Ashlar Village

74 Cheshire Road

Wallingford, CT 06482

Registration & Breakfast 8:30am
Forum 9:00am – 1:30pm
*Snow date February 9, 2019

Autism Speaks and Autism Services and Resources Connecticut (ASRC) are teaming up to present local and National experts sharing their best practices for transitioning individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders into the adult world.

Forum is free of charge.  Hot breakfast will be served.

Registration is required – Limited Spaces Available (

For more information, contact ASRC vial email at or call 203-265-7717.

The Bureau of Special Education Welcomes Sean Cronin and Alycia Trakas.

In October, the Bureau of Special Education welcomed two new members of the team.  

Sean Cronin joined the Bureau of Special Education on October 12, 2018 as an Associate Education Consultant within the Due Process Unit.  Sean is providing technical assistance, complaint resolution and general special education support for school districts and parents.

Sean comes to the Bureau with past knowledge and experience from his previous role as an Assistant Child Advocate at the Office of the Child Advocate (OCA).  Prior to his work at OCA, he was the program manager for the Intensive Outpatient / Partial Hospitalization Programs at UCONN Health as well as the program manager for continuing care at Western CT Mental Health Authority in Waterbury (DMHAS).  Sean has been working with children and adults with disabilities for over 20 years. 

Alycia Trakas began her work at the Bureau on October 26, 2018 as an Education Consultant within the Program Improvement Unit.  In addition to general special education support for school districts and parents, her primary responsibilities include Specific Learning Disabilities/Dyslexia; Secondary Transition, Post-School Outcomes, and Graduation and Dropout.

Alycia comes to the Bureau with a wealth of knowledge and experience from her previous role as a School Principal and Assistant Superintendent of Schools and as an Interventionist/Teacher.  She has worked in the field of education for almost 15 years. 

Please join the Bureau in welcoming Sean and Alycia!


Opportunity to participate in a study on the Connecticut Documentation and Observation for Teaching System (CT DOTS)

The CT Office of Early Childhood (OEC) is collaborating with EASTCONN to conduct a study on the reliability of scoring using CT DOTS.  We are looking for individuals who have general experience with assessment to participate in this study, including infant/toddler teachers, preschool teachers, special education teachers, and early interventionists.  Participants do not need to have extensive knowledge or familiarity with CT DOTS to participate. All participants will engage in the following process:

Participants will provide limited background information.  No personally identifiable information will be gathered.

Participants can select the age ranges for which they have experience and education and would be able to conducting “scoring”.  The three age range options for this study are infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.

Participants will view data examples for all relevant observation progressions for each age range selected (17 for infants, 24 for toddlers, and 26 for preschool). For each observation progression there will be three data points to review through an online portal and one score to submit.

Based upon the data provided, participants will check a box on a summary sheet indicating the skill level best represented by the evidence presented.

Participants will have 2 weeks in mid-January to review the data and submit completed child summary forms by scanning or submitting a photograph of their scoring sheet.

If you are interested in participating in this study, please complete the following survey.

Please note that this study was reviewed by the OEC Institutional Review Board as has been considered Exempt due to the nature of this study.

For questions please contact Dr. Michelle L. Levy, Educational Consultant, State Department of Education, Office of Early Childhood, (860) 500-4536 or 

CT Early Learning and Development Standards

The CT Early Learning and Development Standards (CT ELDS) outline what young children from birth to age five should know and be able to do and are aligned to the kindergarten CT Core Standards. The CT ELDS are the foundation of the general education curriculum for preschool that all children should be able to access, no matter the setting in which they are served.  In addition the CT ELDS can be a useful tool for planning supports for entering kindergarteners, providing a step prior to the end-of-year kindergarten standards. The continuum of learning and development articulated in the CT ELDS which begins at birth can be especially helpful for planning instruction for children with delays and/or disabilities. For more information, go to: On the website you are able to order CT-ELDS materials at no cost.

Timelines for Initial Evaluation

On December 21, 2018, the Bureau of Special Education issued an updated memorandum to Directors of Special Education and Pupil Personnel Services regarding Timelines for Initial Evaluation. You may review this memorandum at this link: Timelines for Initial Evaluations Memorandum Dec. 2018.